Founded on January 28, 1878, the Yale Daily News (YDN) is the oldest college newspaper in the United States. The paper covers a wide range of local, national and international topics. It is free of charge to all Yale students and members of the New Haven community, and it publishes Monday through Friday during the academic year. It also produces several special issues each year, including the Yale-Harvard Game Day Issue and the Commencement and First Year Issues. In addition to traditional news articles, the YDN also publishes editorials and features that explore topics affecting Yale and New Haven. It works with student groups to produce special editions that celebrate the heritage of Yale’s Indigenous, Black, Latino and Asian American communities.
The YDN is a part of the Yale University Library and is accessible to anyone in the world. The YDN Historical Archive contains over 140 years of printed issues. Originally scanned and archived in PDF, it has been migrated to a modern platform that allows users to more easily browse the archive for specific issues or topics. The project was made possible by an anonymous gift from a Yale alumnus.
In its 20th-century heyday as a brawny metro tabloid that counted Clark Kent and Lois Lane among its reporters, the Daily News earned fame for its brash coverage of crime and corruption. It won Pulitzer Prizes for commentary, feature writing and even international reporting. But in recent years, the Daily News has struggled financially. In 2017, its owner, Tribune Publishing, slashed staff and shut down its newsrooms. Employees at other Tribune Publishing newspapers have started campaigns seeking local benefactors to save their publications.
The News grew to include a radio station whose call letters, based on the paper’s nickname, were WPIX; and a television channel, WCBS-TV, that was later sold to NBC. It also helped establish the Associated Press and founded ProPublica, which shared a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2014 for its work uncovering police abuse of eviction laws. The News also owns the building where its journalists once worked at Sixth Street and Linden Street.
The YDN has a reputation for being fact-based, but like many newspapers it has ideological biases. During the early stages of World War II, the paper was a Republican newspaper that supported isolationism; in the late 1970s, it began shifting to a more centrist stance. Today, the YDN’s website has more traffic than its print edition. While its digital subscription numbers are rising, its print circulation is declining. This is a common problem for major newspapers that have struggled to adapt to the new digital economy. Nonetheless, it remains a prominent source of news in the region. Its website also features the latest breaking news and multimedia content. In addition to its online edition, the YDN has mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. It also offers a variety of subscription packages that include digital and print editions, as well as a weekly magazine called Weekend News.